We made it! A long, tough winter and a long travel day are over and summer at Roseledge is here and going stupendously — well except for the rain and chill. But the recliner has heat and massage, the mist has left the harbor and the fanny-lift chair by the window still rises to see the mostly-moored lobster boats. Charlie has finished the nine months of computer updates and I am finally doing my part to maybe hear back from you, so life is good, very good.
Any antifreeze left in the pipes hardly shows pink or tastes strange in the drinking water and only the shower water is still frothy, but hot, body-warming hot. Hard to get better than that. We’ve had the Schoolhouse Bakery’s everything bagel breakfast sandwich both days, yum, only to find out this may be the Bakery’s last summer. Sigh. A generational shift seems to be upon us.
About two weeks ago, Tim Holmes died suddenly and way too soon. For this summer person, Tim, with Garby, was a defining pillar of Tenants Harbor. They made Hall’s Market the welcoming center of all that was happening in the community. Maybe all memorable people are characters, but Tim certainly was one of the very best kind: a good-natured, ever-knowing and helpful participant in making people smile one more time. A couple of years ago during St. George Days, he was playing softball and the Courier Gazette included four pictures of Tim in action, bending over on the bases . I pointed out that surely no one had a more photographed fanny than he. I don’t remember the words of his retort (probably something like, “and rightly so”), but I remember the glee. It’s hard to imagine a better lived life than his. First Tim Watts, now Tim Holmes. Tenants Harbor is not and will never be the same.
But Tenants Harbor is and will remain a very special place of the heart for those of us lucky enough to have found it. And where are the rest of you lucky ones? Roseledge Books is open — well, the lights are on — and as soon as the rain stops, Charlie and I will fix as necessary the sign on the tree at the corner of Sea and Mechanic Streets. You may recall that we added to the top of the sign two adirondack chairs, one with a pillow. I bet they’ll still be there. The rain should help things grow, and though the grass was inadvertently mowed, wonderful wild things will surely grow in front of, on top of, and through the new rock wall. Charlie has almost promised to do something about the garage shingles that have not weathered handsomely after the unprimed paint peeled off. And we are trying three new shade inducing techniques to make the porch more welcoming in the direct sun of midday. We planted a fast-growing (?) tree, Charlie found a bistro umbrella (and we can get another) to attach to porch poles, and we are going to plant in pots two or three acer maples and hope they grow as lavishly as the one next to the steps now does. Spread, density, portability and wind resistance are factors so far.
Settling in is always a joy, even with the inevitable detritus of winter and absence. I, of course, can only direct. This makes Charlie crazy, so we are listening to Leonard Cohen’s London concert which apparently muffles my directions. And I saved Lee Child’s latest paperback, Never Go Back, for these very days, as 512pages of Jack Reacher keeps me very quiet, maybe even muffled. The only thing that would make all of this better is seeing you. We are going into town tomorrow for a summer’s supply of Rock City Roasters’ Dark Star. So maybe wait until then.
The webcam is coming. Roseledge Books hopes you are, too.